THE closing date for entries in Devon Hedge Competition has been extended to the end of April due to the difficulty of laying hedges over our recent wet winter. There are two classes this year- Best Laid Hedge, Open Class and Best Laid Hedge, Novice Class. In both classes there are prizes of 1st £250, 2nd £125 and 3rd £75.

The aim of the competition is to raise awareness of the good management that many farmers and landowners carry out on their hedges and to encourage new people to learn this traditional countryside skill.

Tom Hynes, from the Devon Hedge Group said: “We are particularly keen to have entries from people who have learned how to hedge lay over the last two years. There are many people attending training courses and hopefully these people are putting their newly learned skills into practice on their own hedges”. An entry form for the competition is available on the Devon County Council website where pictures of previous winning hedges can also be seen.

John Whetman, who is one of the competition judges, has looked at many newly laid hedges: “It is always exiting to see a hedge growing back the following spring but those who follow the traditional techniques get not only the best re-growth but also end up with the best stockproof barrier, which is what hedging is all about.”

Entries are welcome from farmers, landowners and contractors. The hedge must be in the county of Devon. The Devon Hedge Competition is run by the Devon Hedge Group with sponsorship from NPS Group.